Rafa Benitez loses forward to injury ahead of Newcastle's FA Cup tie

Ayoze Perez, centre
Ayoze Perez, centre

Ayoze Perez is OUT of Newcastle United's FA Cup tie against Birmingham City.

Rafa Benitez, already without African Cup of Nations-bound Mohamed Diame, has left Perez out of his squad for the third-round tie at St Andrew's as a precaution.

The forward has a minor calf injury and has stayed behind on Tyneside for treatment.

"We are quite good in terms of injuries," said Benitez.

"Ayoze has a problem in his calf, but it isn't serious and we don't want to take any risks."

United manager Benitez will have to switch another player to the No 10 position, which has been filled by either Perez or Diame this season.

"We have plenty of solutions," added Benitez.